It’s the last week of February and in years past, I would be wishing my mother a Happy Birthday.
However, it has been 13 years since I lost her home to Heaven with the Lord after a two year battle with ovarian cancer. She was a constant source of inspiration and long suffering through it and I was so blessed to spend quality time with her in her last year after I moved back to my home town.
She collected teacups and saucers, passing her love of teatime and tea things and all things British onto me. I have a number of her teacups. Here is a beautiful Shelley scalloped-edged Lily of the Valley teacup I found at an antique show that always makes me think of her. The Lily of the Valley was my mom’s favorite flower.
I found another Lily of the Valley – coupled with another flower that’s very appropriate – Forget-Me-Nots!
It’s a lovely Royal Albert cup and in one of my very favorite shapes!
I grew up enjoying teatime with mom. While other kids had milk and cookies as a snack when they came home from school, mother always set out a lovely afternoon tea for my sister and me. She always served it in teacups and saucers, with a little milk and sugar – which was my favorite way to take it as a child.
Mother NEVER drank her tea from a mug – ALWAYS an elegant china cup and saucer.
Mom grew up on a chicken farm here in South Jersey – once the Egg Capital of the World with the most highly concentrated number of egg farms, egg, and poultry production globally. Here she is – the little gal in the middle on a summer day back in 1944 . . .
There were always plenty of eggs for baking. Mom usually baked wonderful treats from scratch. No Twinkies for us! I remember her sponge cake and applesauce cake fondly. Her apple pie could not be beat! But, sometimes, all there was to serve with tea after school were saltine and jelly sandwiches – which I still love as an adult!
Of course, when it was cold in the winter, mother would help us guard against cold and flu with one of her hot toddies! Lemon and honey replaced milk and sugar. And – on occasion – a teaspoon of whiskey!
Hey – it was still the 1960’s and the world was still Mayberry. Nobody every heard of half the health issues children struggle with today. We ate largely whole foods and were rarely sick. Home remedies like grandma used to make still presided.
I forget not how it was.
So, thanks for the tea, Mom – and Happy Birthday –
She’d have been 79 years old had she lived. Teatime and thoughts of you and how thankful I am to have called you “Mom”.